Can't help wondering what could have been. It happens every year. Today would have been my mother's birthday, she'd be 71.
If, if, if, I play this game with myself where I go back to a random time in our lives - hers and mine. I pull her out of her picture and insert her into mine. I say,
"If she was sober she would have loved to be part of this with me."�
Today, she's been gone (dead) for almost 20 years but she's still very vivid in my head. I can still hear her�laugh and�the smell of her Emerade perfume mixed with
hairspray and cigarettes. That look in her�eyes that always made me feel sorry for her, guilty for everything that made her unhappy.��The way she'd hold her cigarette or�break a new piece of gum in
half. The sound of ice clinking in her glass when she'd call me too late at night just to ask me something that would always lead to an argument. How she danced. That she was shorter than me. How
she looked with those curlers she put in her hair every single night. How she called her mother "Mama".�Her "I love you" only spoken through�a drunken slur.�The sound of her purse snapping shut,
her keys in her hand and the ring she always wore on her pinkie. She was so pretty but she didn't think so. She got alot of attention from men but she always chose the worst to bring home. She
cried often, I rememer what that sounded like too.
If she were sober and here now I'd love to have her with me everyday to do all the simple things my days are full of. We'd have coffee together in the morning, we'd go
shopping for our groceries together just like we did every Saturday when I was a kid. I'd take her to the mall and we'd have lunch and shop till we were exhausted. I'd make my spaghetti sause for
her, not quite like hers but I know she'd love it. We'd watch old movies and cry - then laugh at ourselves. She'd love being with my kids and be so proud of all they've done with themselves. She'd
get on a plane and go see her grandaughter in Portland because she'd want to see what its like for her up there. She'd go check out my son's office, so proud to be introduced as his Grandma
Carolyn. I know she'd be at every one of the football games to see our baby play for only a minute or two, because she'd want him to know she was proud of him. She'd be thrilled with Danny because
- because he is thrilling! His life is full and she'd be constantly wanting to hear his latest escapade. I'd help her clean her house and she'd iron my pillowcases. We'd do everything and nothing
together. We'd go for walks downtown and sit in�my yard watching�the flowers grow. I'd go to her first when I needed someone to listen and she'd be the first I told when I got my job with
What could have been might have been like that, might have been different we'll never know so I might as well have it as sweet as sugar. This is my story now, I'll
tell it my way.
Christmas is over. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Thank goodness.
Thank Shirley really. I think it was a gift from her that she passed on the 23rd. I know Dad was dredding the 25th with her still suffering in her bed. He told me how
Lisa was making plans that everyone would come to his house for Christmas day. She just told him that that's what was going to happen. I imagine she thought she was helping him, thinking that he'd
want his family there to comfort him that day. She was good intentioned I'm sure.� It took him a minute but he realized that it wasn't sittin well with him and put a halt to the preparations,
pointed out the obvious: how can I stand having a houseful of celebrators when my wife is dying in the back bedroom?? "Just ain't right" he told her and she agreed, "I don't know what I was
So that was that, he ordered food for only himself, Jan and Lee to be picked up on�xmas eve. And as it turned out, Shirley was gone, everything that�Hospice had
supplied for her was removed by them the same morning that she passed (within hours). There was nothing to do, no more cries from the back room, no more meds to measure and record, no more whispers
of love,�no more promises that it's going to be ok.�
The vigil ended almost as suddenly as it started. I know it's going to take time for all of them that watched 24/7 over Shirley to accept that, I imagine their pain
and emtiness is too much for them at times, I'll help my Dad as much as he'll let me but losing his wife is mostly his burdon to bear.�
On the outside I look like I'm ready for Christmas. I've got my tree up, house is decked out, cookies baked, menu planned for our holiday dinner, shopping is
On the inside I'm... uninterested? I can't put my finger on it exactly. I feel like I don't really care. I'm just doing it, doing the next thing that's expected. I
don't feel the fun, the joy, the excitement that I normally would.
Last Friday night was very difficult.�Bear wanted us to go out for dinner. He wanted to try this new restaurant in town, I was saying OK but I was thinking- no thanks.
I needed to eat something so I went but when the hostess seated us in the middle of a small dining room full of happy people, dressed in festive attire, laughing and enjoying themselves I suddenly
realized I was caught in a nightmare. I wanted to holler at them. I felt angry that they were too close, too loud, too happy!!
Shoot, I had to get out of there, quick! I stood up, grabbed my bag and poor Bear knew if he didn't move fast he'd be dining alone. No explaination required, he always
seems to get me. We exited and chose somewhere else to just eat - no festivities please.
I was having the worst time telling him how I was feeling. That doesn't happen to me. I've got an excellent decoder of my emotions. My feelings usually lay in plain
view, you don't have to look hard to see what I'm going through.
There's just no way to find our way out of this sadness. Someone we love is slipping away from us and there's no changing that. Day by day we stand witness to a life
It's over, the suffering and pain is over. The waiting has ended, the crying is just getting started.
Shirley died this morning with her husband and daughters by her bedside. She was loved. She will be remembered fondly and often.
Shirley opened her eyes and Dad told her who we were. She was happy we were there, she commented on my hair, "Phyl's hair looks nice". Bear wanted a compliment too but
that was more of a joke and she got it.
We stood by the bed for a while when she started crying from the pain, it's so hard to see her like that. Then Dad told her, "it won't be long, the pain will go away
and it won't come back". She was immediately settled by that, I think she knows the end is soon.
They told us that she came very close the other night, hospice confirmed that her vitals were reflecting that things were shutting down but within an hour she rallied
and Lee told us that she looked at him and said, "I didn't die." They all laughed instead of cried.
Hugs, tears and words of love is all there is.
We went to see�Shirley on Saturday, I was dreading it. I woke up that morning feeling so anxious, I thought I knew something bad would happen but�I also knew I had to
go - needed to go.
On�our walk we talked about our feelings with regard to her illness and ultimately her passing. He understands me, I don't have to go into all�of that�here except to
say that the past has suddenly been left behind and in our visit I've seen what really matters.
When we drove up to the house I was happy to see that the garage door was open, his truck in the driveway was clean, and there he was, a wave and a quick smile. That
image helped me alot, I knew there was some sense of normalcy in the house.
I don't want to get into every step I took while there. I just want to remember the awe that I felt as I listened to Shirley tell me her 'story'. She's got a kind of
clarity that is allowing her to see what we usually are too busy clouding up our thoughts to see in our daily lives. Perhaps it's a protection mechanism that doesn't let us grasp our lives
exactly as they are, doesn't let us see our lives in the present, I don't know what it is maybe just denial. If we're lucky we can see what could have been or should have
been when it's safely in the past and too late to do anything about it. Then we make resolutions for the future - like, "Next time I'm not gonna let my heart get broken!"
Shirley has no blinders on, she's knows she's dying and has total resignation. She didn't make me feel sorry for her instead�all I felt was tremendous love and
respect. As I�sat by her bed I held her hand and thought she never looked more beautiful.
She hopes to write down some�of her revelations, I�think that could be a treasured gift to her children. She told me a truth about her stubbern stupidity when she
would never let my father go into the doctors office with her - she knows�her reasons for that were wrong -�she was wrong.�She talked about her wrong thoughts and words towards her son in
law, she wants to take every word back, she was so wrong.�
We only had about 15-20 minutes together before she got tired and we said our goodbyes.�
I have no fear for her now, she's ready to move on and isn't going to waste these last moments. She knows what really matters now and when you're with her so do you,
it's so amazing. I want to hang on to that. None�of us know what's around the next corner, we could be facing our last moments and wouldn't it be great to leave without regret.����
Today we mark the 35th year of our marriage. Isn't that amazing? I don't understand how that sounds like such a long time but doesn't feel like it.
It was going to be just an ordinary Monday, he was going back to work after our long weekend, S. and D. were going back to school and work and I was back to the
household grind - ordinary - until we got the call last night.
We have that great invention of that last decade called Caller ID so when the phone rang at around 7pm last night we saw my father's name and assumed that the usual
late coming birthday wish was going to be given. So when�B�came running with�the ringing phone and�a smile in his voice�as�he said excitedly, "it's your dad",� I wasn't the least bit
apprehensive as I said "hello?". But I should have been, I wish I could have known what he was going to tell me�because I would have been able to handle it differently.
In the first couple seconds of hearing his�voice I didn't hear it, but then it was unavoidable, the sound that something was wrong�sounded like a loud siren and I
couldn't say anything but "what's wrong?"
He tried to say something but his voice broke up, I thought in that second that he was going to tell�me that�his wife had died but as he fought to gain control he
instead told me that�she's very ill and it won't be long.�
How do you know what is the right thing to�say? I thought I did, I like to think I�am a sensative person.�I knew he was in pain and that he was having a hard time
telling me that his wife of 33 years�is too sick to get better. The words I spoke were comforting him, I could hear that in the strength of his voice, I was doing good, afterall I am sorry for her
and him. But�when he told me about "the whole family coming together a couple weeks ago�at the hospital for her", I couldn't stop myself from asking him why I wasn't called then? He put it
off on her (never taking responsibility for his own daughter!) saying that it was "her call". I should have accepted that, I should have left it at that but the lump in my thoat was enormous and
the flood gate was pushing hard, the words just rushed out. I told him what he should have called, I should have been there,�that she always told me that I was her kid, she always called
me her "daughter kid".
Divorce sucks! It clearly boiled down to Her Kids and His Kids. And in the end I find out that the two will never be equal. I am put on the outside by not being
included in the group that was referred to as "the whole family".
I should have been called but they didn't and that's that. I am called now, now that she's "incoherent", that she won't even know I'm there, it is what it is. She
officially became my stepmother after I'd been married for 2 years so our relationship was more of a friendship than a mother/daughter. I loved her, I saw how happy she made my father, I showed her
my love and respect all through the years.�When we moved closer to them - to BE closer to them it didn't work out that way. She seemed to recent my ability to�drop in�on them. She took
shots at me when I was at my most vulnerable ie: my mother's death, the birth of my forth child, etc. Our relationship changed as I never knew when she was going to go off on me. I tried to talk to
my father in� hopes that he'd be able to get through to her and mend things for us but he in his usual style shrugged his shoulders and didn't see any responsibility for his daughter. He was fine
with her and I drifting apart, fine with us not being at his holiday table and so the years went by and here we are - after all these years I'm just somebody that he thought he should call to tell
them that she's coming home on Wednesday, hospice will be there and the end will follow soon.
I don't know if we're doing the right thing or the best thing but we're goin! We're leaving around 1pm today. His suitcase is half packed because he went to work a
half day this morning. He's more excited than I am, that's the way it always is, me holding back and him cuttin loose.
Today is my birthday (53???!) woo-hoo! Life goes on, we gotta have some fun is what he told me and I guess it wasn't as much what he said as the look on his face when
he knew I was gaining a strangle hold on the plan to take ourselves to Reno�to celebrate�my birthday.
At first I was with him on the idea, I was happy and excited. But day after day I had this nagging feeling that maybe we shouldn't go, maybe we should just let that
money sit in his can.�My mistake is listening to�the "talking heads" on tv, they're�pointing towards the sky and cautioning us to "Duck!!"
But this morning I'm committed to leaving my worries behind and letting the good times roll! What's the big deal? The room is free and we could actually WIN! If we
don't we definately will have FUN!
That's all I have to know, the rest is out of my control.
Since you moved to Portland:
I've expected things -
When I expect from anyone I am open to disappointment. I know this, I've disappointed other people.
I'm trying to see it your way. I don't want to nag at you and make it worse. But-but-but there's always a but, it's that I call you, I miss you and I want to hear from
you. So I think you might have the same feelings. Also, I'm your mom, I'm the one that loves you always.
I think you're ok�but when I call, email or send something in the mail and you don't respond I start wondering if something's wrong. I get anxious.
I emailed you about this and as expected no response.
Today is Monday and it's going to be a busy day. We painted our bedroom over the weekend so that leaves me with extra work for the week.
Mark's coming this morning, more PC issues. My laptop has a lack of communication with the printer. AND on Friday the AVG found a virus !!! So I need him to make
things right again.
no fun today, can't think of anything too interesting, seeya.
I wish I could fly. I'd take a trip to the beach with the gulls and be back in time for dinner.�I've dreamt of flying and it always feels so good, so free, light
and exciting.� I hate waking up after that.
I wish to�win the lottery. I know I could buy happiness, even though they say you can't. I'll decide that!
I wish the economy�would get�better, I'm getting sick of the news.
I wish Palin would�go away, back to Alaska where she belongs. If she's such a good "hockey mom" she needs to stay home and BE one, not running around�looking for
more ladders to climb. She needs to�be there for her kids and husband. I'd be worried to have a VP that knows as little as she does.
I wish I could see into the future. How amazing it would be to be able to know what was coming next in your life. I think I'd want to start with knowing the next
hour first then the next day, week, etc. If I could do this I'd have more trust that everythings going to be alright.
I wish meaness wasn't out there. Why do people waste their time saying or doing bad things? Doesn't everyone know about Kharma? "Do unto others.."? I feel sorry
for them, somebody taught them to be that way I guess.
I wish I live with my hubbie forever. He's my best friend and I never want to be without him.
I wish I was in Disneyland -�right now! I really love that "Happiest Place on Earth". We had Thanksgiving down there last year and I'm seriously missing it
I wish I get a puppy for my birthday. I want a Bichon. That's a fat chance, hubs does't want one...
I wish I could take a day and stay in bed.
Tradition. When I looked that word up I saw: "A long established way of thinking or acting."
Hmm, how do we get a new one started? When do we designate what is tradition and what isn't? Who does the deciding? Yeah, who is the boss of tradition in our families??
I'm guessing that tradition starts with our elders and for them it was their elders, and so on. So if I'm correct, none of us decide our own traditions because they are foretold.
Well, that's not sitting well with me this morning. I got an email from my sister-in-law today and among other things she reminded me of where we should be for� T-day and Xmas. Shoot! I've been
trying to buck the system for a long time but every year I wrestle with the same thoughts/feelings of guilt and obligation.
Tradition for other people always sounds so wonderful, for me it feels like a one way street. I should do what they want or look like a - what? Fill in the blank.
Back to square one, how does one get a tradition started? I've been having T-day & Xmas a certain way for only a few years now and I like the direction I've been headed, I believe it will
evolve into my full dream eventually but only if I hang in there. So I've got to do just that and hope that no one feels slighted in the process.
I imagine I'm not the only one thinking/feeling like this. Sigh...
We're entering the time of celebrations. November marks the beginning.
On the 4th we began our 19th year in this house. I mark the�anniversary because living in one place this�long is really signifigant to me. I never had that when I was
growing up and�am beginning to like staying put.�Although I think about�not staying here for the rest of my life.
Another reason to pause on the 4th, it was Shad's birthday, she'd be 36 yrs old or 252 in�dog years! I still miss her, she was such a love.
Nov. 8th is Owen's 4th birthday, we're going to eat cupcakes with�him this weekend. I hear that K.s mother and sisters are going to be there too - oh goodie.
The 17th is the newlywed's�27th birthday. I'll send her money because since they moved to Portland they're always broke!
On the 25th I'll have the honor of ushering in my 53rd birthday, yikes! How on earth can I be that old?! I swear I still feel like I'm just a girl.
Everyone will give Thanks on the 27th. This year I will voice my thanks for our President Obama.
December 1 is the 35th anniversary of my marriage to B. We thought about going to Hawaii to celebrate but the economy�problems have us�in a more conservative attitude
toward spending on luxuries. I can wait, afterall I am just a girl.
On the 9th my first born will turn 30!�Yes, I was just a baby myself when he was born.
The 15th is my wayward brother's 49th birthday. Hope he finds happiness in it.
That brings me to a birthday that�everyone celebrates - Dec. 25th. What are you going to give�Him?�
Our country is great and will prevail! Our people need to unite.
History is being made, be part of it!!
Being grateful even when you think you've lost something is hard.
I'm going to try to focus on what is, instead of what could have been.
The sun is shining
I got to see the�birds heading to the ocean, I love that. They go in groups past my window in the morning when the sun is just coming up. They're in a long line, some
are bunched up, some are alone. I worry about the stragglers, do they have a rough time flying alone? These birds don't use the "v formation" like the ducks do, I think they're seaguls.
B just called and asked me to go away with him for my birthday. I'm happy to have that to think about and look forward to.
I'm lucky to have this day to goof off if I want to.
Today I have my health, I'm strong and nothing hurts.
When I look back I know I've done my best.
Today is the day that our country is going to make changes that could be good/bad or evil. I'm anxious today and hope people with level, educated minds are the one's
who's votes will prevail.
Can't wait for this day to be over.
Thursday with B - lunch and shopping.
Coffee this morning with C, L, & J
Hurt his feelings last night because I thought�he had�a negative tone of voice when I mentioned what M might want as a b-day/xmas gift this year.
If I had more time I'd write about my thoughts/feelings on these subjects but I've surfed too long and gotta run.
Be safe everyone, I want to keep hearing from you.
We volunteered to help the cause. We got out on the corner of E. Washington & McDowell at� rush hour with our signs: NO ON PROP 8 - ITS UNFAIR AND WRONG! In
California we are voting on a prop that would illiminate the right of same sex marriage. A no vote would send a message to Americans that discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. Religious
feelings and personal beliefs�about marriage have to be left out of this issue. Back in the 50s & 60s�it was�believed that interracial marriage was just as wrong, us youngsters find that hard
to believe today, especially those of us born and raised in CA but in some states (of mind) people still think that way.�But thankfully our�country thinks differently and�the rights of all not just
for the few are to be protected.�
P and S were on the other corner, I thought our signs got more honks ;-)�� Overall, we all got an overwhelming possitive response from the passersby.
It was a nerve-racking experience, I was jazzed at first but I soon realized I was nervous. One of the other sign holders got water thrown at her by someone with a
McCain/Palin bumper sticker. We got called "gay" by some guy in a raised up old truck that had a speaker thingie in it. One old guy stopped to ask me if I was gay, and informed me that since I'm
not that I'm making a mistake by supporting the opposition to this prop. Well perhaps he should get himself a sign! Or better yet, he should GET A CLUE his rights or those of someone he loves could
C. and I keep in touch now. I've let her know that it's ok to talk to me about the separation. Since R left her she's had the need to hash over every detail of
what happened and keeps stepping over the boundry that I have to have because he's my bro and blood comes first no matter what.
It's been 3 years since he took his first steps toward the door. But for C it's like it was yesterday. She hasn't moved an inch since he moved
in with "Mz. Thing" as I call her. I hate what he's done to his family. I used to think it was retrievable but now I believe it's over. Too much damage, nothing left.
Although C would differ with me on that. She'd take him back in a heartbeat! Today I got an email from her in which she tells me about her feelings when they
passed each other in traffic. She discribes how her heart skipped and raced for hours afterward and then confessed that she sent a text message to him in a kneejerk reaction, to her great
disappointment and confusion, he ignored it.
I know she wants to hear something�back from me about that, I don't know what I can say without judging her. Now she knows she shouldn't have sent him
the text. Oh well, livin and learnin - aren't we all?
As for me, I'm hugely disappointed in my bro, I never thought he could sink so low in his life. I can't talk to him at all�these days�because I'll express that
and he naturally doesn't want to hear it from me of all people. I think C should move on. I'd like to see her get on with her life. She's relatively young, she still has her looks and is a very
charming person I bet there is someone out there that would love and treat her right. Her greatest challenge is believing that and gettin out there. She's stuck - stuck in the past, stuck in the
drama of the past, stuck in a dead marriage, stuck in the financial disaster they both created but certainly got worse once he moved out and lost his good job. She won't get a job so nothing has a
hope of changing in that arena.
She told me about her therapy session recently, I don't think she's getting much out of it. I'd be reluctant to spend the money I don't have on the hour if I
wasn't going to learn from it. She thinks it's an hour for someone to listen to her, but if it were me, I'd be wanting some solid advice, help, she's in a deep hole and can't figure her way
I've told her the best revenge is to live a good life. It's easy for me to say I realize but I don't see the point in waiting for him to come back because too
much has happened for that to ever work. She'd kill him in his sleep if he came back or even worse - she'd punish him for the rest of her life.
Today's quote is: "Answer your critics with silence and indifference. It works better, I assure you, than anger and argument".
Interesting indeed. I've thought this and used it at every opportunity. In recent times I'm practicing still.